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“Ouvrage magnifique”: The Extraordinary Barbarigo Volume, with the Very Rare Supplement of 1760

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“Ouvrage magnifique”: The Extraordinary Barbarigo Volume, with the Very Rare Supplement of 1760
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[Barbarigo, Gianfrancesco].NUMISMATA VIRORUM ILLUSTRIUM EX BARBADICA GENTE. Patavii (Padua): Ex Typographia Seminarii, Apud Joannem Manfre, Superiorum Permissu, 1732 & 1760. Elephant folio [55.5 by 40 cm], contemporary full red morocco, sides elaborately paneled in gilt with a floral motif, inner garland in gilt surrounding central arms consisting of the sacred heart, crowned; professionally rebacked spine with seven raised bands, ruled and lettered in gilt; all pages edges gilt; original marbled endpapers. (8), 164, 35, (1) pages; superbly engraved allegorical frontispiece; title printed in red and black with a finely engraved vignette; finely engraved dedication vignette; 85 superbly engraved plates of medals, each within a large architectural or allegorical frame; finely engraved tailpieces and historiated initials. Handwritten bibliographical and biographical notes in an early hand affixed to front pastedown. Original portions of binding quite rubbed and scuffed, but sound and still very attractive; title a bit smudged, with occasional minor discoloration here and there throughout the volume; small repaired tear to frontispiece. Very good. A rare and extraordinary work worthy of the finest library. Published posthumously under the patronage of Cardinal Gianfrancesco Barbarigo (1661-1730), the main text was written by the Jesuit Father Francesco Saverio Valcabbi (1701-81), was edited by Giovanni Xavier Valcavio, contains eighty plates and is dedicated to Barbarigo. The 36-page supplement features five additional plates, with text by Antonio Fabbro (c. 1715-60). The magnificent plates were engraved by the celebrated Belgian painter and engraver Robert van Audenaerde and are based on a series of historical medals commissioned by Barbarigo and executed by Johann Franz Neidinger. These exquisite oversize medal engravings commemorate military and political victories of Barbarigo’s illustrious ancestors. A monumental work, among the most finely executed and beautiful numismatic works ever issued. Bassoli 60. Brunet 28906: “Ouvrage magnifique.” Modesti 138: “Si tratta di uno dei più bei libri del ‘700 italiano, per la magnificienza delle incisiono, non solo delle medaglie, ma dei capoversi, degli ‘incipit e dei ‘colophon’, e dei singoli capitoli.”